Electrical Services Bexhill
Does Your Business Premises Need PAT?
Electricity is an essential part of our everyday lives. We need it to run our homes and our businesses. But for employers, electrical appliances that are safe to use are also a Health and Safety issue. Employers have a duty of care to their employees and must ensure that working conditions are comfortable and above all, safe.
Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) is a service offered to employers and individuals to ensure that electrical appliances in the workplace and in domestic properties are working correctly and safely. PAT is not compulsory by law, although Health and Safety laws do require that employers maintain their electrical equipment to ensure that they are in safe working order and there’s no risk of injury.
If you run a business then a PAT service is highly recommended for peace of mind. Here’s a look at what’s involved in PAT and injuries that can occur if appliances aren’t maintained to a safe standard.
Portable Appliance Testing involves the inspection, testing and visual checking of portable appliances such as kettles, microwaves, power drills, heaters, hair drying equipment and medical equipment to ensure they are safe to use.
How regularly they are tested can depend on the type of appliances and how often they are used. For example, a power tool or hair drying and sun lamps would need testing more regularly than a table lamp in a bed and breakfast.
Simple tests can be easily carried out by a competent member of staff. However, for safety’s sake more complex appliances that have a greater potential to cause injury should be tested by a professional PAT tester. An annual inspection is recommended for peace of mind.
Which Businesses Need PAT?
Although PAT is not obligatory by law, there are certain businesses that should take advantage of a professional inspection. These are:
- Beauty and hair salons
- Health clubs
- Doctor and dentist surgeries
If you don’t keep an eye on your electrical appliances, your employees, customers or tenants are at risk from the following electrical injuries:
- Electric shock. Voltage as low as 50 volts can block the electrical signals between the brain and muscles resulting in cardiac arrest, muscle spasms, respiratory failure and even death.
- Electrical burns. Deep internal burns that require major surgery and can result in severe disability.
- Thermal burns. Skin burns due to appliances overheating from overloads, faults, bad maintenance or short circuits.
Electrical Contractors East Sussex
Electrical Fire Safety In The Home
Electrical fires are a common occurrence in UK homes. In this modern age of high technology, we are using more electricity than ever before. Just think how many adaptors for smartphones, tablets and lap tops you have and how many appliances we leave in continuous standby mode.
Electricity is essential for a smooth running household, however, many of us don’t understand how dangerous it can be.
Mis-use, poor maintenance and age can increase the risk of shock injuries or an electrical fire.
Here are some things you should check to help prevent the risk of an electrical fire in your home.
Condition Of Wiring
When moving into or renovating an older property have the condition of the wiring checked by a qualified electrical contractor. All electrical wiring and fixtures pre-1960s such as cables covered in rubber black insulation and light switches inside the bathroom should be replaced.
All wiring is insulated to protect live wires from contact with water, inflammables and human touch. However, wires can be damaged if cut by vacuum cleaners, garden trimmers, electric lawnmowers or hand held kitchen appliances. It’s not enough to tape them; damaged cables should be replaced.
Keep all electrical appliances away from water. Water is a powerful conductor of electricity and can cause injury and death. Store a multi-purpose fire extinguisher in the case of an electrical fire. Never try and extinguish an electrical fire with water.
Avoid overloading sockets. High current appliances such as kettles and irons should be plugged into a single socket. If a socket has burn marks or feels hot to touch, do not use it and call a qualified electrical contractor to inspect it.
Never use the wrong amp bulb for your light fixtures, even table lamps. Down lighters are fashionable and discreet but they can be a fire hazard if incorrectly installed. Ensure that you choose the correct amp bulbs for your down lights and always call in a qualified electrician to install them.
Electric blankets can be dangerous if not used and stored correctly. Never fold an electric blanket, roll it instead to prevent damaging the internal wires. Only leave a blanket on overnight if it has a thermostat and is specifically designed for the purpose. Never switch on a blanket that is damp.
Icarus Electrical Contractors East Sussex are NICEIC accredited electrical contractors serving the Eastbourne, Brighton and Sussex areas. We offer electrical installation and inspection services to ensure your home is safe from the risk of electrical fires. Contact us today for more information.
Electrical Contractors Brighton
Is Your Wiring Out Of Date?
In the UK we love to restore older properties, returning them to their former glory and keeping original features. However, one original feature you won’t want to keep, is the electrical wiring. It’s not just an issue with period properties. Any building over 25 years old with original wiring will need to have it replaced to be compliant with Building Regulations safety and energy efficiency standards.
Re-wiring is disruptive, as floorboards, plasterwork, carpets and flooring will need to be removed, so it’s best to get it done before moving in or carrying out any home improvement works. Re-wiring is not a DIY job and needs to be carried out by a qualified electrical contractor.
Here are some signs that your wiring is out of date and needs replacing.
Old Fuse Box
Signs of an old fuse box that needs replacing are: wooden backs, cast iron switches, no labels and a mix of different fuses. Black rubber cables are used in older fuse boxes. These can deteriorate over time, exposing live wires which can result in a fire or electrical shock.
Plugs And Switches
Check your plugs for broken plastic casings that expose the inner components. Round pins are frequently found in older properties and should be replaced with the modern 3 pin variety. Round black switches may be in keeping with an older property, but will need to be replaced as will sockets attached to the skirting boards instead of the wall itself.
Check any plugs that are warm to touch or emit a ‘fizzing’ or ‘crackling’ sound when in use.
Old style lightbulbs consume more energy and frequently blow. All light bulbs should be replaced by energy efficient ones.
Round switches were used pre-1960s so will need to be replaced with modern versions. New replica versions are available to buy if you still want to keep an original look.
Check for flickering lights, it is a sure sign that your fuse box is out of date or your light switches are not functioning correctly. This can be a serious fire risk and needs to be inspected by a qualified electrician.
Old braided cables hanging from central ceiling lights need to be replaced with modern PVC cabling.
You may find that an older property has had some refurbishment so a completer re-wire may not be necessary, however, to avoid constant wiring problems and costly repairs, a complete re-wire may end up being more cost effective in the long run.
For more information and advice, contact Icarus Electrical Contractors Brighton.
Professional Electrical Contractors Sussex
Why You Should Switch To LED Lighting
Cutting down on your energy consumption is as easy as switching on a switch. If you’re looking for ways to reduce your carbon footprint and make your home or business more energy efficient, one of the most popular and easy solutions is to install energy efficient lights. Just this one simple change can have a positive effect, not only on the environment, but also on your energy bills and even your general health. Here’s why:
LED lights use 90% less energy than conventional lights. That means they are 20 times more energy efficient than traditional lighting and they use a fraction of the energy to produce the same amount of light.
Conventional lightbulbs lose 95% of heat when they are switched on. LEDs only lose 5%. LEDs are cold to touch and won’t heat up like conventional bulbs so you won’t risk burning your fingers if you touch them. The cold light is perfect for indoor plant growth, while the light produced still manages to create a warm glow around your rooms.
Good For Your Health
LED lights are actually good for you!
There’s no high powered discharge that can hurt your eyes.
There’s no UV light to damage your skin.
They don’t attract bugs and insects so there’s less chance of being bitten and no need to use toxic insecticide sprays.
LED light therapy can be used to treat a number of skin conditions such as sun-damaged skin.
They don’t contain harmful environmental pollutants like mercury or lead.
Their low voltage means greater electrical safety and less risk of electrical fires.
LEDs are recyclable, in fact they have 4 times less environmental impact than conventional lights. As LEDs use less energy, less energy needs to be produced to power them from fossil fuel sources such as goal and gas.
The average LED lightbulb lasts around 25,000 hours and many have a lifespan of up to 20 years. They are low maintenance and also incredibly durable. Their thick coating is almost unbreakable and they don’t have a delicate inner filament like conventional bulbs. They are also rust proof, so are ideal for outdoor lighting.
Although they are more expensive to buy than standard bulbs, you’ll get your money back from lower energy bills. Changing just 20 bulbs in your home or office will save you almost £300 each year.